OPINION: American gun crisis fuels desensitization

Arnav Damodhar | Staff Writer


994 mass shootings in 1,004 days. That is the American gun crisis.

The Guardian said more than 1,000 people have died in the past three years and more than 3,500 have been injured as a result of these shootings. 35 of these shootings occurred in Ohio, and seven of them occurred in greater Cincinnati. But we haven’t heard about them. As someone who has been living in Cincinnati for the past nine years, I have never heard about a shooting here. I have always considered Cincinnati more or less of a safe haven, protected from these atrocities.

Over the years, we have become desensitized. We have become so accustomed to seeing shootings in the news almost every week that we are used to it. According to the USA Today, mass killings happen every two weeks. Sandy Hook was a hot button topic among news outlets for almost a month. Then we started seeing more and more and eventually we reached a point where these things are casual. The shooting is customary. The stigma that surrounds it for a brief period of time is customary. And then the ignorance that follows towards those who perished is customary. Then, we forget about it. Shootings have essentially been integrated in the American way of life, and we seem to be okay with that.

When we think of shootings, we automatically assume that they are in schools. Schools are meant to be a safe place to educate students, but this safety is in peril. Recently Mason High School received a note that something big was going to happen on October 20. Shootings were suddenly important to us because they were here.

Before October 20, Mason ignored anything associated with that. We heard about it. We pretended to care about it. And then we overlooked it. That was the standard protocol for not only mass shootings, but any disasters. Even though administration took the necessary precaution and investigated this note, then decided that it was safe to still have school, 789 people didn’t come. They were scared. That threat made people face an unnerving reality: these terrors can happen in Mason.

After all, it has happened in Cincinnati. We just haven’t heard about it.